My wife's grandmother passed away last year (and her grandfather many years ago) and my mother-in-law gave me this item she found while cleaning out their apartment:
It appears to be printed (on an old printing press - there are ink bleed marks in a few places) on newsprint that is glued to cloth to give the illusion of being on parchment.
The case (a thick cardboard tube) says "Mishloach Manot from Yeshivat Rabbi Shlomo Kluger ZT"L", which I know was on the Lower-East Side on New York (now "Yeshivas Chasan Sofer" of Brooklyn). Inside, below the berachot, it says that it was printed by the Hebrew Publishing Company.
Here is a Google Photos album with pictures of the entire thing: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yhBt7YtNCi15Sm6r9
Observations from the pictures:
- It is clearly meant to be used in shul, since it says at the top to listen to the berachot from the reader, and it has the end beracha at the end.
- It is 42 lines, which is one of the common layouts.
- It is not a "Hamelech" layout
- Some of the columns are a lot wider than other columns (which I have seen in some real megillot too).
- The ten sons of Haman are spaced unevenly, which I've never seen in a real Megillah.
- The glued seams between the sheets of paper look exactly the same as how it is done on a newspaper printing press.
- There are small dots of ink at the top of some columns (which I assume are registration marks for press alignment) and a few places where too much ink caused artifacts.
- To me the lettering looks similar to that which was found in the old Ktav Tikkun Kor'im (which is somehow still available to purchase 50+ years after publication!), except for the Berachot at the beginning and end which are in the standard font used by Hebrew Publishing Company for their Siddurim (though much larger than anything I've seen in any old Siddur).
- It looks like the berachot may have been movable type, since some of the bigger letters have the top or bottom cracked off, but the text of the Megillah itself is clearly not movable type - it's too crooked and there are places where ascenders of one line cross descenders of the line above.
I am trying to find out more about this item, for several reasons:
- I like old sefarim.
- I'm curious exactly how old it is but it doesn't have a year printed on it.
- My wife's grandparents were extremely Yekke (they both grew up in Germany before the war), and I don't know how they would have ended up with something like this from a Chassidish yeshiva.
- Ignoring the case, I'm curious if this was a product that Hebrew Publishing Company actually sold, or if it was a special run done just for the Yeshiva.
Does anyone know anything about this item?